Frontline police officers in Norfolk and Suffolk to be wearing body cameras by June
- Credit: Archant
People committing crime in Norfolk could be caught on film by police officers wearing cameras by the summer, it has emerged.
Police chiefs have confirmed body-worn video cameras will be rolled out to frontline officers in Norfolk and Suffolk by June this year as part of a joint £1m initiative.
The project, which was first announced last year, will see cameras rolled out in stages with roads policing and armed officers among the first to receive them before police constables and sergeants on patrol in the second phase before being given to police community support officers and special constables.
The crime-fighting cameras, which cost £400 each, underwent a public demonstration at the police accountability forum at King's Lynn on Monday night.
Norfolk's police and crime commissioner Lorne Green, who had pledged to provide police with '21st century tools to fight 21st century crime' following his election last year, said: 'I'm expecting the first cameras will appear on the streets or on the roads by the end of June.'
You may also want to watch:
Body-worn cameras, which have proved successful in gaining evidence in domestic abuse and assault cases and have been repeatedly called for by those representing the interests of officers in our region.
Assaults on police officers and staff in the county have risen from 73 in 2011/12 to 126 in 2015/16 and Mr Green said the 'most important' function of the cameras was to protect officers.
- 1 Norfolk RSPCA store appears on Rip Off Britain
- 2 Chantry Place 'close to finalising deals' with four major brands
- 3 'You want to be un-vaccinated? Go to Lowestoft' - rock legend's jab at town
- 4 Revealed: The cheapest towns in Norfolk to buy a home
- 5 How Norfolk are you? Take this quiz to find out
- 6 Woman who died in A47 collision named
- 7 Police probing reports Norwich clubbers have been spiked by needles
- 8 Nicole Kidman donates £10k to Norfolk dad's charity walk
- 9 'Embarrassing' - City fans ask questions of Farke after Chelsea thrashing
- 10 Delays on A47 due to collapsed manhole cover
He said: 'If we can protect our officers from harm it means they are more available to actually do what the police are supposed to do which is to prevent and fight crime rather than be in hospital beds.
'That's an investment to save. It's also an investment to save because it ought to cut the number of complaints against police officers so rather than contesting complaints they can be out preventing or fighting crime.'
The cameras might also potentially save money by speeding up the criminal justice system with irrefutable evidence captured on camera leading to more guilty pleas, but despite concerns some might have, Mr Green insisted they would not be used indiscriminately.
'Police officers are not going to be walking the streets with a camera running all the time, that's not the intent.'